Norwalk: Jack Beckman preview

BECKMAN WELCOMES LEVEL PLAYING FIELD IN NORWALK NORTH HILLS, Calif. (June 27, 2007) - Jack Beckman says he welcomes the level playing field the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car crew chiefs and drivers will have at this weekend's ...

BECKMAN WELCOMES LEVEL PLAYING FIELD IN NORWALK

NORTH HILLS, Calif. (June 27, 2007) - Jack Beckman says he welcomes the level playing field the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car crew chiefs and drivers will have at this weekend's Inaugural Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio.

Beckman, who drives the Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing in his first full season in the Funny Car class, has made only one prior visit to Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, back in 2004, as an instructor at Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School.

"I've only been to Norwalk with the Pro Stock reaction-time clinics we held at different race tracks back then." says Beckman, the 2003 NHRA Super Comp champion who also holds the national Funny Car speed record of 333.66 mph, set during his five-event stint in 2006. "I haven't run there. I do remember that it is a neat facility. It's got baseball-stadium kind of seats and has a little different flavor than the NHRA fan is used to. So, it's going to be awesome.

"It's also going to be neat because most of the crews have no experience running there, so it kind of levels the playing field. It gets back to the basics of reading the race track and managing the tune-up. It's going to be hot, and our MTS Dodge is a bracket car in the heat. Can't wait.

"It will be my first time at an inaugural race in a race car. It's kind of cool to say you've raced the first NHRA national event at Norwalk, and I hope we leave with the first Norwalk Funny Car trophy."

Tenth in the Funny Car rankings, Beckman is in the middle of a battle for a spot in the top eight for the new Countdown to the Championship. It's a tight group, as he, Tommy Johnson Jr., Jeff Arend, Del Worsham, Cruz Pedregon, and even 14-time Funny Car champion John Force, back in 14th, are aiming for a place in the playoff. Beckman is just six points out of ninth, and nine points short of Johnson in eighth. Behind him are Worsham, six points back, and Cruz Pedregon, who trails Beckman by 29 markers. Force is 107 points out of a berth in the Countdown.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Del Worsham , John Force , Cruz Pedregon , Jack Beckman , Jeff Arend , Don Schumacher , Frank Hawley , Tommy Johnson Jr.